McLaren hasn't discussed F1 role for shareholder's son
McLaren insists it has never discussed giving Nicholas Latifi a Formula 1 role after announcing the Formula 2 racer’s father as a new shareholder last week.
Canadian Michael Latifi became the McLaren Group’s first new shareholder since the departure of Ron Dennis after his British Virgin Island-based Nidala (BVI) Limited committed a £200million investment.
Latifi’s son is a Force India reserve driver and F2 race winner who finished fifth in the feeder category last year but is only ninth in the current standings after a mixed start to the season.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of this week’s Monaco GP, McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown said there was no pressure to put Latifi in the car as a result of his dad’s investment.
“That’s never been a discussion,” he said. “He’s doing quite well in Formula 2. At McLaren we’re always looking for the best drivers we can get.
“He’s doing a good job but it’s never been part of the conversation.”
McLaren currently fields Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in F1, with F2 championship leader Lando Norris its official reserve driver.
Brown said Latifi’s investment in the McLaren Group would impact the F1 team but only through fresh funding.
“The board and the shareholders will decide where they want to invest that money,” he said.
“I presume it’ll be sprinkled into all three businesses [the F1 team, McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technologies] in some way, shape or form.
“Formula 1 obviously has a big thirst for expenditure in trying to keep up with teams with a larger budget, so I’m sure some of it will go into investing in our racing team but also developing our road car and technology businesses.”
He added there were currently no conversations about expanding the group of shareholders beyond Latifi.
As well as announcing Latifi’s investment last week, McLaren has revealed multi-year partnerships with major forex trading broker FxPro and smartphone company HTC.
“We’ve got a great commercial team that is trying to find partners, as does every F1 team, everyday,” said Brown.
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